As many of you know from past seasons, each year we honor the best of the baseball world — MLB, MiLB, independent, summer collegiate and college — with the annual Ballpark Digest Awards. The lineup may change from year to year, but over the years we’ve been blessed to highlight some great achievements in the game.
And, as in past years, we need your help. We are seeking nominations for the following awards, which will be announced beginning next month.
Broadcaster of the Year Who notably calls a game? Who presents the best face of the game? Who tells the best stories?
Best Renovation What renovations best impacted operations and gave a fresh start to fans and a franchise? Here we are looking at large-scale, coordinated renovations affecting the entire ballpark.
Best Ballpark Improvements What specific ballpark improvements made an impact on the fan experience? As opposed to best ballpark renovation, these awards are more focused in scope.
Best New Logo/Branding What teams overhauled their looks to a positive effect? What team successfully enhanced their image with a new branding?
Best Promotion Promotions are the heart and soul of professional baseball. What team showed the most imagination in bringing a new promotion to fans? We like to see flair and imagination, as well as effectiveness, when it comes to noteworthy promotions.
Best Charity Event / Commitment to Charity Successful teams usually have some level of commitment to charity, giving back to their communities. What team or organization should recognized for their commitment to charity?
Best New Food Item What new ballpark food item made your mouth water?
Best Marketing Campaign This could be a radio spot, a TV spot, an Internet spot or a scoreboard spot.
Executive of the Year Who is a leading light in the front office, making an impact on the game?
Team of the Year What team made the biggest mark on the industry with improved operations, increased attendance and noticeable buzz?
Organization of the Year What front office boosted the fortunes of their team to best effect? We’re looking to honor the entire front-office team here, as well as owners of multiple teams who excel across the board.
Continued Excellence It’s one thing to put together a great year; it’s another thing to do it for years. This award is designed for extended excellence.
Editor’s Choice We use this as a wild-card category; past winners have included MiLB for charity efforts, MLB for a Fort Bragg game and the Cape Cod League for sending a league baseball to space. If there’s something that does not fit in the previous categories, enter it here. We want to recognize the truly noteworthy, not just fill a checklist.
We are launching award season earlier than usual this year. Our plan is to announce winners in select categories starting next month, before taking a short pause in September to focus on affiliation shuffle coverage. Additional awards will be announced following affiliation shuffle season and will continue into the fall.
We are likely to refine this list further after all the submissions are in — our goal to recognize accomplishments in the industry, not to ignore them because of some arbitrary restrictions. And we are likely to be expanding this list into MLB and MiLB/indy/summer collegiate divisions, as we’ve already heard from some MLB and MiLB teams about submissions. Our deadline: August 13.
At this point, we want to see your nominations. We usually receive 400 or pages of documentation from teams and PR agencies making a pitch for an award, and these presentations are a great help. But you don’t need to create a big presentation to nominate yourself, your team or your friend for an award: All we need is an email (email@example.com). All submissions, of course, will be treated with absolute privacy, so go ahead and push your credentials!